KCW the Overview

Well. In the middle of KCW I found out that we were taking a family camping trip over the weekend. Which halted my clothes crafting intentions and threw me into trying to get ready for the first camping trip of the year. But I have a couple of things I finished the day before we left that I wanted to share as one last hurrah! 

First up is the really simple knit shirt that I made my daughter in under 30 minutes. It isn’t hemmed. There is just a bit of bias tape around the neckline. I think it will make sweet jammies for the summer time. 

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Then the night before I had made a bubble skirt in the middle of the night. I have insomnia and sometimes I just have to get up and sew. Tonight the result was a bubble skirt. I love the sweetness. bubble skirt

And I love that my baby girl is walking!!!

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So thus concludes KCW for me. I wanted to get so much more done. The muslin, remains a muslin. I didn’t get to my tiered peasant dress. And the t-shirts for the boys remain a remnant from the remnant bin. But I had a lot of fun sewing along with everyone it was very inspiring. What a great week. I cannot wait for the summer edition!!

KCW Day Two

I have a sweet little dress that fits P quite nicely. I love the drape, and the fit and she loves to wear it too. I’ve been wanting to try to draft a pattern so that I can make a couple more for the summer. The way that P goes through clothing right now is amazing. I think it is that toddler age where they are testing all those boundaries of independence for the very first time and somehow that requires lots of dirt from head to toe. I love watching her learn and grow so much but I digress. I just love this dress on her.

Enter the pattern drafting process. I have to use a muslin. It is a step I don’t see a lot of in the blog world. But I just like a practice run when I’m drawing a new pattern. I always end up tweaking my muslin to achieve the look I’m going for. And muslin is cheap so I don’t feel like I’m wasting a ton of $$. I’m especially glad I chose to make a muslin with this project because It is going to use a good bit of fabric for a small girl. And as we all know beautiful fabric isn’t cheap. So I tend to draw up my pattern and then sew it up in a muslin.
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When I do a muslin it isn’t pretty. My goal isn’t clipped threads, finished edges and gorgeous top stitching. It is just getting practice constructing the final garment and making sure my measurements are right. I also like to experiment a bit. On this dress I tried two different sleeves to see which one I liked better. And in the final garment I added a bit of room to the bottom of the front bodice so that I could add the skirt more easily. Now there are some muslins that I have seen that are perfection, but that just isn’t how my creative juices flow. It is my place to try things and play and make mistakes without having to use the seam ripper for every little imperfection.
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In truth I had planned to do a muslin and then a finished dress all today. But time has run away from me and I have run out of sewing time. Day two is in the books.

Kid’s Clothes Week

The time has come for the Spring Edition of Kid’s Clothes Week . And this year I’m joining in!

So here is my inspiration
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A very sweet little girl who needs new clothing desperately. She is always a challenge. She is a tiny little thing so finding Ready to Wear clothing that fits her properly is always hard. I’m always thankful when I can whip something up for her that is fun and functional and that fits her properly. Today’s inspiration from Ashley at Make It And Love It.

I made a couple of modifications. First I used 1 inch bias tape instead of the two inch. Mostly because I got this handy little bias tape making machine and I only have the one inch attachment. I never want to hand press bias tape again. But I think it worked with the overall aesthetic because the thicker straps would have overwhelmed the top.
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Secondly I added some shirring to the front and the back of the romper so that the chest would fit properly. It was gaping. It wasn’t pretty. I added the shirring last in a last ditch effort to save the ill fitting romper. It made a huge difference.
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And of course my model has her own ideas about posing
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Overall it was a very satisfying project and a great way to kick off the week. I’m unsure where I am headed tomorrow. Maybe some pattern drafting? Maybe a tiered peasant dress from Create Kid’s Couture?

The Garden

Recently I read this quote from Jules Dervaes from the urbanhomestead.org “In our society growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest one that can and will overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world. We change ourselves.”

Confession: being the somewhat cynical pragmatist that I can be when I first read the quote I thought. Really Jules you are being a little dramatic aren’t you? Here is where I am coming from. I grew up eating local, going to roadside stands and getting big boxes of fresh produce or going to the fields or our garden and picking our own and then canning and preserving mass amounts of food at my mother’s side. It was just a way of life. Passed down as so many domestic arts are from generation to generation. Nothing special. Local was just our lifestyle.

A couple of years ago when we started a family growing food became even more important to me because I really want my children to know where their food comes from. I want them to know that growing food is hard valuable work. I want them to plant a seed, water it and watch it grow until it produces a harvest and then pluck the fruit from the plant and consume it still sun warmed from the garden because that is a feeling that you just cannot duplicate. Working hard and seeing the fruit of your labor. Or having a hard year and having something not produce the way you would like it too. That lesson is just as valuable. And these are the lessons that happen right in the backyard.

Last year we started a bold experiment. We allowed our raised beds to expand into our front yard. It was really exciting actually. It allowed us to double our garden space and landscape in one fell swoop. My mission was to show that vegetable gardens can be beautiful. It is a work in progress. But it is really fun to plan and plant and grow. And it is really fun to get my kids out there even in the front yard digging and weeding and watering. So many valuable lessons are coming out of the garden (as well as some tasty vegetables).
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I’ve seen my kids get really excited about trying new vegetables (win!!!). If it comes from the garden they are more than willing to give it a chance. Now they have discovered some favorites and some that are not so favorite. But they are trying and I can ask no more.

Ok so at this point we are keeping money out of big corporations hands. That is a good thing. But changing the world and overturning corporate powers. I don’t know. But then I started thinking why do I want my children involved in the garden? And I came up with a list.

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I involve my children in the garden for five main reasons.

1. The sheer joy of seeing them dig in the dirt. Getting outside smooths frazzled nerves quiets the mind and reminds us of our creator. He is everywhere outside. From the grand sunset displays to the soft moss underfoot. Just stopping and seeing simple green beauty is worth it.
2. I want to teach my children the value of work. The garden is a small way to do that. I give my kids daily tasks, watering, weeding even pruning (under my supervision of course).  I want my kids to know that work is valuable and it reaps rewards.
3. Things that matter aren’t always instant. So much of life is about waiting and being faithful to the task at hand. The garden illustrates this beautifully. So much time is spent prepping and caring for plants and a disproportionately small amount of time is spent harvesting and gaining reward. However, you can find joy in the tending.
4. There are seasons. In life and the garden there are seasons. Seasons of joy and sorrow. Seasons of preparation and fulfillment. There is death and rebirth sometimes even simultaneously. But things are always changing. That is the constant of this life. Things will never be what they were but they are what they are now.You can’t go back to last season but you can make the best of this season. It is in learning and accepting and adapting and surrendering to the Gardener’s hand we thrive.
5. Small things grow into big things. You will reap what you sow. A carrot seed becomes a carrot. A tomato tomato. A thistle, a thistle.  It is the same in our lives. Kindness begets kindness. Joy, joy and hate, hate.

It really isn’t about overturning corporate powers, that isn’t my goal anyway it is about teaching lessons of the heart. They are the real legacy that I want to pass on to my children. Now if certain seed modifiers are brought down in the process that is great but it isn’t the main reason I do what I do.

In the end, maybe Jules Dervaes was right. Maybe the simple act of getting outside and cultivating rows of fruits and vegetables does change us. Maybe being in nature attunes us to God’s work in our own lives and maybe it allows us to plant good seeds in our children’s hearts that will grow and produce hearts that are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s moving. I can think of no better reason to get out and start a garden!

A Fresh Start

My first blog was Musings From Bedlam. It chronicled the story of my daughter’s birth and the first part of her life. Then came Seersucker, Snuggles and Soup. My family and craft life over the past few years. But somehow neither of those blogs seemed to encompass what I was really hoping to blog. Enter this blog. It is a fresh start at what I’ve been doing except there are no rules. I’m planning to blog whatever strikes my fancy. It is pretty much me and my life in a blog.

And I would love for you to join me!